"am I out of my league?"
"will my skills look like blue belt level?"
"should I be competing yet?"
I trust the judgement of my instructors and I feel like if they think this is where I should be, then I AM good enough to be here but, still the pressure was on for this to show under the anxiety of a competition.
Well....I survived and I actually won this tournament.
A few days ago, a father of a little girl I sponsor came to me and said his daughter was having a melt down after receiving her grey belt, she is planning on competing in Kids Pan Ams next month and is worried she isn't good enough to compete at that level and that her instructors and I would be disappointed in her.
I didn't realize until then, that kids feel this same pressure. I think some of them feel it and don't even realize what it is. My son, who was 7 when he competed the 1st time, would get in a bad mood the day of competition but, didn't seem to know why. Another little girl from my gym would cry through the entire match. I assume this was their way of displaying that same feeling I feel.
I was surprised to hear that this little girl, who just received her grey belt, knew exactly what she was feeling. I plan on talking with her this weekend and telling her of my experience when I 1st received my blue belt, my advice is "Trust your instructors judgement! They feel you deserve to be at this level. You may go out there and get beat or you may not. Either way, you got out there! Something many people never do. Putting yourself out there is the toughest part, your instructors and peers will be proud of you just for that! Do your best, have fun and LEARN!"
I know first hand the fears of competing but, I also know the incredible feeling when it's over and you HAVE done your best! (and for me it also means I can eat) ;)
Win or lose its a huge accomplishment and I have no regrets of any tournament I have done.